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Home > Culture and Society

The TFT guide to... working past retirement

Thanks to the pensions crisis, it looks as though we're all going to be working long after the traditional retirement age. But what will be the effect on the modern workplace?

15 October 2004

1) The expression 'stepping into dead men's shoes' - referring to unremarkable employees getting promotion by length of service rather than talent - takes on new meaning as the stiffened corpses of elderly employees are removed every morning by bemused Somalian office cleaners.

2) Companies are forced to create office environments designed to attract older employees, with such incentives as:

- Trendy plasma screens showing a perpetual loop of Last of the Summer Wine;

- Toilets never more than 10m away;

- Bewildering, new-fangled computers replaced with mechanical adding machines, typewriters and slide rules.


3) Radical change in demographic of sales reps to occur. Instead of pumping out Phil Collins or Dido from their Mondeos with a Next Man suit hanging from the little hook in the back, elderly sales reps will be heard quietly playing 'Come in to the Garden, Maude' from Robin Reliants with a demob suit in a brown paper parcel tied with string on the back seat.

4) With Alzheimer's disease now endemic in the workplace, 'I forgot' finally becomes an entirely legitimate reason for not having done work.

5) Elderly staff are slightly frightened yet perpetually fascinated by black co-workers.



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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